Project Lead The Way training connects K-12 teachers with Polytechnic programs, faculty

Teachers participate in last summer's PLTW Core Training "Medical Detectives" course.

The 2017 Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Core Training, now underway at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, is offering K-12 teachers professional development in numerous topics in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

“After establishing PLTW Core Training at our Kokomo location in 2002, last summer’s move to West Lafayette was very successful,” said Kevin Kaluf, K-12 STEM education director. “Polytechnic faculty took advantage of the opportunity to work directly with teachers from Indiana and around the country, showcasing the college’s strengths in STEM disciplines and helping teachers gain skills to take back to their own classrooms.”

The annual training prepares teachers to introduce K-12 students to design thinking, automation and robotics, biomedical science, civil engineering and architecture, digital electronics, computer science principles, and other topics in STEM.

App Creators, a new computer science training session offered this summer for middle school teachers, is already in high demand by teachers. The course is completely full, Kaluf said.

“This year, all of our courses are in Knoy Hall of Technology, a central location which provides better opportunities for teachers and faculty to network between classes,” said Kaluf. “Teachers also have fantastic opportunities to utilize Polytechnic classroom and lab spaces and gain new experience to share with their students in the fall.”

Project Lead The WayTeachers who registered for the Civil Engineering & Architecture course meet in Knoy Hall’s D. Dorsey Moss Construction Lab and are utilizing the School of Construction Management Technology’s surveying equipment. They will also tour the same construction job site that first-year Polytechnic students will study this fall.

“The average high school student might not understand what engineers, architects, and construction managers actually do and how different their career paths are,” said Patti Morgan, industry and outreach manager and continuing lecturer in the School of Construction Management Technology. “Teachers in this PLTW course will gain a clear understanding of the differences and can share that with their students.”

Elementary, middle, and high school teachers attend two to 11 days of training. About 60 percent of attendees are from the state of Indiana; the remainder come from K-12 schools nationwide. During the training, participants complete a portfolio of work in order to be certified to teach PLTW courses back in their local schools.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to drop in on 2017 Project Lead The Way Core Training sessions to meet teachers and discover what they’re learning. Sessions run from June 19 through July 21. See the full schedule.

Project Lead The Way helps teachers master effective teaching methods for STEM learning objectives at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Students who successfully complete PLTW courses in high school may earn up to 12 college credit hours applicable to majors in Purdue Polytechnic.

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